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The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. awards the second Pollock Prize for Creativity to Amy Sherald.

NEW YORK, NY, April 16, 2018— Kerrie Buitrago, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, today announced that Amy Sherald is the recipient of the second Pollock Prize for Creativity, honoring an outstanding artist whose work embodies high creative standards and exemplifies the impact of art on individuals and society. The Pollock Prize carries a cash award of $50,000.

Sherald hails from Baltimore. Her portraiture is a compelling commentary on race and heritage; the work is subtle in its innuendo, yet the subject’s gaze is always very direct, creating a dynamic tension on the canvas. Sherald is the first African American to receive first prize in 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Gallery, where her portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama was unveiled earlier this year.

The Pollock Prize is an extension of the existing Lee Krasner Award, given to an older artist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. The Pollock Prize, by contrast, will lend support to outstanding artists who may be in mid-career, and whose ongoing work has a social and cultural dimension. The Prize will be awarded to an artist working in one of the disciplines the Pollock-Krasner Foundation supports—painting, sculpture, works on paper and printmaking, or photography. As with the Lee Krasner Award, there is no application for the Pollock Prize, which is given by a Foundation jury based on the recommendations of a network of nominators.

Amy Sherald said, “I am honored to receive this year’s Pollock Prize for Creativity. Jackson Pollock’s radical disruption of the two-dimensional picture plane to energize abstract forms has resonated greatly in my own journey to examine and elaborate art historical conventions. My paintings seek to reshape critical and cultural dialogues around representations of black experiences in portraiture and other modes of visual imagination. Depicting black people engaged and present in contemporary, everyday life, I partake in the slow and intensive tradition of American realist painting. I am profoundly grateful to the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for supporting this work and for providing me with the resources to continue sharing American stories otherwise removed from the dominant, canonical narratives.”

Kerrie Buitrago noted, “It is exciting to encounter an artist like Amy Sherald who is able to convey in a beautiful and meaningful way the important historical narrative of black heritage. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation is delighted to be able to make this award and to recognize Amy Sherald’s groundbreaking achievement in conceptual portraiture.”

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstraction expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. Based in New York but operating internationally, the Foundation through its grants has enabled artists to create new work, purchase needed materials and pay for studio rent, as well as meet their personal and medical expenses. Recipients of Pollock-Krasner grants have acknowledged their critical impact in allowing concentrated time to work in the studio and prepare for exhibitions and other professional opportunities such as residencies. The Foundation has awarded more than 4,400 grants to date in 77 countries, for a total of more than $71 million.

To provide additional support, the Foundation maintains an up to date and comprehensive Grantee Image Collection representing the work of artists who have received grants since inception. Each artist is requested to give the Foundation permission to post two images of works from the year of his or her grant and also has the option of adding to this number with later works. The database also provides contact information for each artist.

For more information, including guidelines for grant applications, the public may visit the Foundation’s website at

Kerrie Buitrago
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / (212) 517-5400

Image credit: Amy Sherald, They Call Me Redbone But I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake, oil on canvas, 54 x 43 inches.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. announces the appointment of Ronald D. Spencer as its Chairman and CEO.


New York, NY – It was announced by Kerrie Buitrago, Chief Operating Officer of The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, that Ronald D. Spencer, attorney at the law firm of Carter, Ledyard and Milburn will succeed Charles C. Bergman as Chairman and CEO of the Foundation. “Mr. Spencer is a distinguished lawyer whose career demonstrates a comprehensive knowledge and experience in advising artist and collector established foundations, “ said Ms. Buitrago. “We have worked with Mr. Spencer over many years and are delighted to welcome him as our Chairman and CEO. I know first-hand how much the Foundation will benefit under his stewardship.” Samuel Sachs II, Board President noted “Long associated with both his predecessor and this foundation, Mr. Spencer brings a wealth of knowledge which will greatly enhance our future.”

Mr. Spencer is Chairman of the Art Law Group at the law firm of Carter Ledyard & Milburn in New York City and as author of The Expert Versus The Object: Judging Fakes and False Attributions in the Visual Arts has demonstrated expertise in the legal aspects of art authentication issues. He is the Editor of Spencer’s Art Law Journal, published on Artnet and The Art Newspaper, dealing with legal issues of practical significance for collectors, dealers, scholars and the art-minded public.

Mr. Spencer is a Trustee of the Lachaise Foundation. He is founder and Chairman of the Fund for Park Avenue which landscapes the Park Avenue Malls from 53rd Street to 86th Street in Manhattan. He is also a member of the Sculpture committee of the Fund which selects contemporary sculpture for exhibition on Park Avenue. Mr. Spencer is legal counsel to numerous artist and collector-established foundations.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as legal counsel to The Pollock-Krasner Foundation since its establishment.  Now, under my leadership, I look forward to continuing the tradition established by my friend and predecessor, Charles C. Bergman. Lee Krasner’s will states that the mandate of the Foundation is to aid ‘worthy and needy’ visual artists, and I will do my utmost to carry out her wishes,” stated Mr. Spencer.


The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 for the sole purpose of providing financial assistance to individual working artists of established ability through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstract painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. To date, the Foundation has given 4,414 grants totaling over $71 million to artists in 77 countries.

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. mourns the loss of its Chairman and CEO, Charles C. Bergman (1933-2018)

Charles C. Bergman (1933-2018)

photo courtesy of Joe Fornabaio

NEW YORK, NY, February 27, 2018- The Pollock-Krasner Foundation mourns the loss of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charles C. Bergman, who organized the Foundation at its inception and guided it for more than three decades with great wisdom and generosity.

Born in 1933 and raised in Boston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh, Mr. Bergman graduated from Harvard in 1954 and dedicated the early part of his career to the field of mental health. After serving as a Vice President of the People to People Health Foundation (Project HOPE), he became a special advisor in mental health under Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter. Beginning in the early 1970s he was the head of the largest psychotherapy training program in the United States, the Institutes of Religion and Health, which he formed by merging the Academy of Religion and Mental Health with the American Foundation of Religion and Psychiatry.

In 1984, at the request of Lee Krasner’s attorney, Gerald Dickler, Mr. Bergman agreed to serve as a consultant on forming a charitable foundation, to be established with the assets of the estates of Ms. Krasner and her husband Jackson Pollock. When the foundation was granted legal approval in April 1985, he became Executive Vice President of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, serving at first with President Eugene V. Thaw (co-trustee of Lee Krasner’s estate). He soon assumed the role of Chairman and CEO and was joined by Kerrie Buitrago as Executive Vice President, and upon Mr. Thaw’s retirement as President worked closely with his successor, Samuel Sachs II.

It was largely because of Mr. Bergman’s insight that the Pollock-Krasner Foundation defined its mission as providing cash grants to worthy individual artists in need, in the United States and around the world. Under Mr. Bergman’s leadership, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation awarded more than 4,400 grants totaling more than $71 million to artists in 77 countries. Mr. Bergman took special pleasure in personally informing each grantee of his or her award.

In addition to his many years of service at the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Mr. Bergman served on the Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission of New York City, the Overseers’ Committee of the Harvard University Art Museums and the New York State Council on the Arts and was Vice President of the Inter-American Foundation for the Arts. He served on the boards of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, the National Young Arts Foundation, the Children’s Radio Foundation, the sculpture committee of the Fund for Park Avenue, the New York Foundation for the Arts Leadership Council, and the philanthropy committee of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among many others.

Mr. Bergman is survived by his spouse Stuart Levy, whom he married in 2015.